Tuesday, December 16, 2014


I listen to light classical music quite a bit and often tune in to it through the offerings on satellite television. The various music channels from which you can choose provide information on what is currently being played. If your choice in music is vocal: pop, country R&B, rock, etc. the information is quite useful. You will find out the song title, the artist playing/singing, the album containing that music.

This system fails badly for classical music. Unlike those other types of music classical is defined by the composer and that particular piece of information is the one most often missing. How useful is: Suite #3 played by the New York Philharmonic from the album Famous Suites? I want to know who wrote it. A complete title would also be useful. There are lots of listeners out there who may be able to tell Haydn from Mozart or Brahms from Liszt and even one symphony from another but my novice ears aren’t among them.

Whoever types in the relevant information also to get either lost or bored on a regular basis. Whole lines are sometimes left out making the music a complete mystery. Quality control obviously isn’t a criteria for the music providers and they don’t know much, if anything, about classical. Neither do I but I won’t be getting educated by the folks on satellite television muzak, that is for sure!

Sunday, December 7, 2014



The sun is aggressively trying to muscle his way through my window and assault my eyes. With not quite enough sleep last night my eyes are resistant to the solar barrage. Here in coastal Oregon, gratitude for sunshine is what I should be feeling. I’m not.

Sleep has become an elusive commodity, one pursued often and sufficiently achieved seldom. It seems unfair. My sleep patterns in the past have been quite predictable. Nine PM my eyes drooped and my brain lost touch with consciousness. Six AM my eyes flew open and I emerged from bed rested and ready to go.

No longer. If I go to bed at nine my eyes refuse to close and my brain goes into overdrive. Bits of songs, to-do lists, anything worriable marches in hob-nailed boots around, and around, and around in my head. I stay up later hoping to see the sleeping car move past my station where I can hop on but the train doesn’t arrive for hours. In the morning my eyes still open at 6. And at 7. And at 8. Lack of rest keeps me hoping for more until reluctant acceptance sets in and I drag myself out unrested and ready for an early nap.

Naps? That sounds doable and delightful but ‘sounds’ is way different than ‘is’. Naps are as difficult to achieve as nighttime sleep. They seem best caught as I sit at my computer keyboard trying to……………

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Where are my marbles?

I’m sure I had a few left when I woke up this morning. There I was, in bed, contemplating the day and thinking about the upcoming holiday. Wait! The holiday! Christmas is coming!

And off went my mind, the remaining marbles scattering left and right.

Gift list?
I thought I had everything but maybe…
Card list?
I don’t send cards but perhaps I should…
We don’t plan any but we’ve agreed to attend…
We usually stay home but…
(And that one leads to cataloguing reservations, luggage needs, pills gathered to pack, etc.)

The marbles that had rolled off kept on rolling.

I shake my head and something in there rattles so perhaps there are a few laggers left between my ears? The chipped, no-longer-quite-round ones?